Faded Fall Colors

I’ve been feeling the need for another mini-vacation. In lieu of one, I wanted to do something fun this past weekend but wasn’t sure what.

I saw a sign on the highway that the Wild Bird Sanctuary was having an open house over the weekend and decided that might work. I’ve never been to it although I’ve seen the sign for the exit to it a lot.

After church Sunday I headed for the Wild Bird Sanctuary. However, it was not the substitute for my desired mini-vacation. I was amazed at how many cars were parked all along the sides of this narrow road leading to the Sanctuary. They had a park ranger directing traffic. The parking lots were full. My arthritis was acting up and I didn’t think I’d be able to walk as far as I would need to … especially since I couldn’t see a building or anything … so I found a place where I could turn around and just left.

My other option for “fun” Sunday was to attend a choral concert at Jefferson College in Hillsboro, about 25 miles south of me. I headed for the college. I expected to see beautiful fall leaves since the road there takes you up and down a bunch of rolling hills which open to some lovely valleys along the way. The hills are for the most part tree covered.

The fall colors were drab, muddy colors … the yellows were the color of Dijon mustard, the oranges were more a faded rust and I didn’t see any bright reds. I was disappointed, especially since the newspaper had said this was the peak weekend for leaf peeping. If that was true, we’re not going to have a colorful fall. There were still a lot of green leaves so maybe things will improve before they all fall off. The rain for the last two weeks has already knocked a number of leaves off.

When I got to the college I couldn’t believe how empty the parking lot was. I went inside the Fine Arts building and overheard the choral groups practicing. Oh, I’m here an hour early! The concert is at 3 p.m., not 2 p.m. So I found a bench in the lobby and sat there, reading a copy of the school newspaper until time to go in.

As things worked out, a young woman with two young girls sat next to me. The older one, probably about 8, was very well behaved. The younger one, maybe 4, evidently ate noisy wiggleworms for lunch. She wouldn’t be quiet, wouldn’t sit in her seat, crawled on the floor, etc. I felt sorry for the mother because I’m sure she wouldn’t have brought them if she had had any other alternative. She had sheets of paper she was filling out so I think she was attending this program as part of her classwork which meant she couldn’t take her girls and leave.

The program was interesting. There was a nice mixture of some classical and some more modern songs. There were three different choral groups participating and they all sang the finale. The director, I was glad to see, had better organized his program and the entrance and exit of the groups was better managed than it has been at other concerts I’ve attended.

But I still need a mini-vacation.

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